Singapore—Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) Benjamin Pwee took to Facebook to highlight a concern that one senior from Clementi has encountered.
On Tuesday, December 3, Mr Pwee wrote, “One senior shared with us how upset he is cos the local Community Centre (CC) started to ask his local residents seniors music group to pay rent to use the CC, and locked up the room so they can’t use it.”
This upset the senior, who believes that Community Centres should be free, especially for seniors, since, as Mr Pwee wrote, this would provide support to “their active ageing.”
Furthermore, the senior added that he has lodged feedback and complaints to his local Member of Parliament (MP) and their team.
However, this input apparently “never gets followed-up on,” according to the senior.
Mr Pwee, is a business consultant and theologian, who led the Democratic Progressive Party before joining SDP earlier this year. He invited the senior Clementi resident to join the SDP Seniors Group, and said that he would, “see how we can take his complaint up with his local CC and MP.”
The opposition leader posted on his Facebook account the night before that the SDP team was headed for Clementi Blk 308, Holland Bukit Timah, on December 3, and invited members of the public to do so.
Mr Pwee’s point that seniors need support for their active ageing is a salient one in Singapore society, where there is a fairly large older demographic. Community centers, or community clubs, play a big part in society, as they provide venues for people to meet and mingle. Good relationships have been proved by research to be a significant factor in long and happy lives.
In January of this year, at the official opening of the upgraded Teck Ghee Community Club (CC), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong underlined the importance of such centers.
“The Government invests heavily in building and upgrading the CCs so that residents will always have a place to call their second home,” he said.
According to the website for Urban Redevelopment Authority, “Community centres or community clubs are developed and managed by the People’s Association (PA). They may be free-standing or independent developments or co-located with other public service facilities like public libraries, neighbourhood police centres.”
And while the government has a number of “Active Ageing Programmes conducted in the community to encourage seniors to stay active, healthy and socially engaged,” it would also be good to listen to what the seniors themselves want, especially if its as simple a matter as allowing them the use of a community centre music room without extra charges, considering that most seniors are pensioners living on limited incomes.” -/TISG